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The Role of Bachelor's Degree Emergency Medical Services Programs in the Professionalization of Paramedicine

Margolis, Gregg S. (2005) The Role of Bachelor's Degree Emergency Medical Services Programs in the Professionalization of Paramedicine. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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The vision for the future of EMS involves a broader public health role and will require an increase in the professionalization in the field of paramedicine. There are currently 14 institutions of higher education in the US offering Bachelor's Degrees in the field of Emergency Medical Services (EMS). These Bachelor's Degree EMS (BDEMS) programs are in a unique position to affect the future of paramedicine. This study explored the BDEMS Program Directors' (PD) views regarding the role that their programs have played, are playing, and may play in the professionalization of paramedicine. Semi-structured one-on-one interviews were conducted with the PDs of all 14 BDEMS programs to explore the definition of profession, professionalization within paramedicine, and the role of BDEMS programs in said role. The interviews were recorded; the transcripts were analyzed to identify themes and trends relevant to the issues of professionalism and professionalization. There was no consistent view of what defines a profession. Issues related to autonomy and the existence of, or creation of, a unique domain of practice were infrequently mentioned by the PDs. While most BDEMS PDs feel that paramedicine should be a profession, few felt that it currently is a profession. There was little consensus regarding the role that BDEMS programs should play in the professionalization of paramedicine and some disagreement over what should be the focus of a BDEMS curriculum. While all recognized the teaching role of BDEMS programs, few identified research, leadership, or community service roles. Four broad strategies for BDEMS programs to increase their role in the professionalism of paramedicine are proposed.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Margolis, Gregg
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairWeidman, John Sweidman@pitt.eduWEIDMAN
Committee MemberPiantanida,
Committee MemberMcClure, Maureenmmcclure@pitt.eduMMCCLURE
Committee MemberStoy, Walt Astoywa@upmc.eduSTOY
Date: 12 December 2005
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 28 November 2005
Approval Date: 12 December 2005
Submission Date: 5 December 2005
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Administrative and Policy Studies
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: allied health; bachelor's degree; education; EMS; paramedic; professionalization
Other ID:, etd-12052005-201822
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 20:08
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2016 14:37


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